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On August 5, the new University Chancellor in charge of The National Agency for Higher Education in Sweden, Anders Flodström, told Swedish Television programme Rapport that Sweden needs stronger but fewer universities. He went on to suggest five regional universities to supplant the current 14. He said: “In the future Sweden needs universities that can compete with the best in China and the US and we have none today that ranks among the best in the world, even if we are good.” Flodström referred to Imperial College London as a successful merger. The idea of the non-university sector as feeder institutions also came up. He predicted that English will be the dominating language for academics in the universities.
The University Chancellor has indeed reaped controversy. Following his interview, the Swedish press has been full of articles objecting to the Chancellor’s analysis of higher education. When ACA contacted The National Agency for Higher Education in Sweden on the issue, they said that they would have an article about it in their own publications next week. We will keep you posted.